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Prepare yourself for the rigors of divorce and co-parenting

Everyone has heard that divorce is a difficult time that requires the splitting spouses to expend a lot of emotional and mental energy. There's no changing that, even if the spouses are able to agree to an uncontested divorce or use alternative dispute resolution tactics. No matter how simple the divorce is and no matter how quickly it gets done, the splitting spouses will still have to expend some emotional and mental energy.

This is important to realize for people going into the divorce process, because some people may think that their divorce will be "different" and that the process will just "fly by." While it's true that every divorce is unique, it is impossible to say how quickly your divorce will get done. It could take only weeks -- or it could take many months, or years. It all depends on the dynamic between the splitting spouse and the complexity of the issues inherent to their divorce.

Child custody is a common issue for divorcing couples. If a child is involved and the parents agree to joint custody, then some sort of co-parenting plan will have to be drawn up. Co-parenting can be hard, as it thrusts two people back into a relationship -- albeit a working one -- that they just got out of. They have to communicate with each other, see each other, and be willing to negotiate on certain scheduling matters.

Remember that this isn't about you, though. Co-parenting is about your son or daughter, and making sure everything works out for them. Do everything in your power to prevent verbal arguments with your ex, and do your best to foster a collaborative atmosphere where you and your ex can work out scheduling conflicts.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Strategies Are Dumb (Just Do This)," Erin Mantz, March 31, 2014

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